May 16, 2014 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
One day presentation of a new collection of pocketknives by students of the Academy of Arts and Design in Prague that follows the local traditions of the cutlery industry but redefines it to put it into the context of contemporary design.
This project is exhibited at the Bohemian National Hall as a part of NY Design Week 2014.
The Fishblade examines the local traditions of the cutlery industry in the Czech Republic. It is one of the many school term projects dedicated to production and a craft that is still quite alive in Europe. The product design students are attempting to redefine this tradition and place it in the context of contemporary design. Through the final product (a pocket knife) the different personalities of the students are presented. A knife is not just a tool; it becomes a representation a voyage to childhood memories: family mushroom picking excursions with the traditional ‘fish’ knife in the basket. Both traditional folk motifs and contemporary minimal motifs will appear. The first exhibition of this project was at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG), December 2013, under the patronage of art historian and local curator Claudia Banz.
Students from the Studio of Product design at Prague’s UMPRUM have chosen as their collaborator the knife producer Mikov s.r.o. from Mikulášovice, one of the northernmost towns in our country. The flowering of cutlery crafts in the 18th century inspired Ignaz Rösler, a famous craftsman, to found one of the most renowned cutlery factories in the Czech lands. Today’s Mikov s.r.o., which was established by a merger of the companies Koh_i_Noor and Sandrik, still pursues traditional cutlery production.
For students from the Studio of Product Design, led by the famous Czech designer duo called Olgoj Chorchoj (Michal Froněk and Jan Němeček), collaboration with local producers is no exception. For example, their last collaboration with Ton, a furniture manufacturer with a long tradition specializing in Michael Thonet’s wood_bending process, resulted in a series of furniture accessories in which current trends were applied.
NY Design Week 2014
The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) was established in 1885. It became a prestigious educational platform in the fields of design, architecture, fine art, photography and film animation, nurturing internationally recognised creative personalities, among the most important of which are the glass artists Stanislav Libensky and Frantisek Vizner, the designer Ladislav Sutnar and the artist and puppeteer Jiri Trnka. Today, there are six faculties in the academy, divided up into individual studios led by Rony Plesl, Maxim Velcovsky, Olgoj Chorchoj, Federico Diaz, Jiri Pelcl, Libena Rochova, Rostislav Vanek, Eva Eisler and others. Each year, AAAD arranges a selective exhibition and is very active in domestic and foreign presentations and events. Its students and graduates have won numerous awards, including the Czech Grand Design Awards, and have gained internships and jobs in high-profile brand name companies.
In recent years, Antonin Simon was given a design opportunity with Raf Simons, Lucie Koldova worked in Arik Levy’s Paris studio, Eliska Kuchtova has been working for Camper and Jan Plechac and Henry Wielgus have been designing for Cappellini.
The academy is intensively developing collaborations with Czech manufacturers such as the carmaker Skoda Auto, the footwear manufacturers Botas and Bata and glassworks such as Bomma. The AAAD campus is located in the historical centre of Prague.
The Studio of Product Design at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) This studio emphasizes teamwork, which brings up different creative and systemic approaches. The tasks are approached through a dialogue, involving as many team members as possible, while respecting the sovereignty of individual authors. Apart from the main task for each semester, students simultaneously work also on other minor projects or participate in competitions. At least on intensive 10-hour task is prepared in each semester, which is often related to the tasks solved by other studios. If possible, the teaching process is connected to the practical use, i.e. the producers. The teachers support, to the maximum extent, contacts with foreign design schools through scholarships and student exhibitions.
Design work requires a wide scope of theoretic and practical knowledge, which is acquired by the students at the lectures.
The competitiveness of future designers depends on a combination of talent, creativity, intelligence, hard work, knowledge, understanding of the international trends and sensitivity to one’s creative roots. It is difficult to say if these qualities can be taught at all; however it is certainly possible to cultivate and deepen students’ interest, which is the basic precondition for future professional success.
321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
May 16, 2014 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM